Another Monday, another week…
“He moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.”(Genesis 12:8)
And this is the question that often baffles me: where does a woman ought to pitch her tent?
Seriously — where are we to spend our time, invest our talent, create our residence, build our permanence, launch our legacy, make our name, when the world pulls us in a thousand different directions?
When can we stake our pole in the ground and declare: “I did this”, when in reality? — we want to display to this witnessing world what only really watchful eyes really know —
That true success? — may have to be first laboured in secrecy.
We want to display in public what really only could be birthed in private.
And in the process of making a life and a living; we polarise.
Our heart runs from Bethel — the place of our private walk with God, to Ai — the place where we train and trade for a living.
Here we exchange our finite resources for a status higher up the social ladder, for a mere semblance towards security and stability.
We want success, we’re driven by progress.
But really, what should hold prominence of our heart?
I mean — who’s got the time to build an inner life when it’s easier, and faster, to tweet and post what looks like the ideal life?
Who cares about what a woman is on the inside when the world clamours for what you’ve gotta show on the outside?
This is our idol — our ideals of us.
I fail time and again with the same Eve-desires that take me right back there to Eden.
Back to the place where the longings linger too long, and what I want?, are things not meant for my reach, sight and sensation not intended for my savouring.
But maybe, the fruit was forbidden not to rob us off our freedom, but to protect us in our frailty.
That’s what the serpent whispers to us, the same lie I myself have believed: that we can have it all, do it all and be all that, without sacrificing a life deeply grafted in the truth of God.
We are frustrated by the slowness of things, the un-deliverables of promises made, the plateauing of a seemingly very normal life, and there the serpent takes advantage of our fragility, twisted the word of integrity, usurped our deepest vulnerability.
I and the rest of humanity fall when we question if God has indeed said.
We doubt, double-cross and downright deny because we want more. More of what we don’t understand, because we just don’t get it — that the satisfaction offered first in Him satisfies us first fully — so we never have to look elsewhere for what can’t and won’t satisfy us fully.
The serpent who knows our darkened depravity outright lie in our ears: that there is arising success in Ai without a deep abiding in Bethel — but really?
What if a woman pitches her tent between the two and makes her mark in life just like that?
Perhaps what would undeniably satisfy the worth of any woman’s life, and give her true meaning, is found in the sacred ground between Bethel and Ai.
That right there in the middle place between the two, we are to pitch our tent, raise our children, engage our talent, multiply our influence —and in the process, experience all our faculties coming alive.
That if we deeply gaze towards Bethel, while plowing away diligently towards Ai, we will somehow find a river of life flowing within that perpetually gives.
Because right there at the intersection of worship and work, in the middle of treading the ground of the sacred and the secular, we are changed, and begin bringing change around us.
Lord, help us here, plain, ordinary, everyday women; who everyday make a life and a living in this world — help us win our battle by first fixing our eyes on You, and just like Abraham did, pitch our tent between Bethel and Ai.
We so hope you enjoy out little home recording here, where our family tries our best to stay quiet before we face our day ahead.